Russia rules out terrorism as cause of Christmas day plane crash

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By Robert Hackwill
Russia rules out terrorism as cause of Christmas day plane crash

<p>It appears the Russians have ruled out any foul play in the Christmas Day aircraft accident in the Black Sea.</p> <p>The Tupolev 154’s black box has been found along with the main part of the fuselage, but the authorities are now concentrating their inquiry into either a technical fault, or human error as the cause of the crash.</p> <p>Today is a national day of mourning for the victims, who were on their way to play a Christmas concert in Aleppo for Russian service personnel in Syria. All 92 people on board were killed, and while 11 bodies have been recovered more have yet to be found.<br /> Some 3500 people are involved in the huge search operation.</p> <p>Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov confirmed the plane, built in 1983, had a good service record, was renovated in 2014, and serviced only in September. But a euronews correspondent who used the plane four times recently found it ageing and dilapidated. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I took Russia’s Defence Ministry Tu-154 to Latakia and back 4 times in 2015 and 2016. Felt like flying in an old bus <a href="https://t.co/VHOdBN1TNC">pic.twitter.com/VHOdBN1TNC</a></p>— Denis Loctier (@loctier) <a href="https://twitter.com/loctier/status/812922202802814976">25 December 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Victims included leading charity activist Elizaveta Glinka and a media crew of nine journalists sent to cover the concert, along with dozens of Russian army Alexandrov song and dance band singers, dancers and musicians.</p> <p>Flags are being flown at half-mast around the country and well-wishers have been bringing floral tributes to the airport in Sochi, from where the place made its final brief flight.</p>